Using home price data from CoreLogic, the National Association of Home Builders estimated late last week that 62.8 percent of homes sold at the national median price were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of about $64,000. That figure was up 1 percentage point from the third quarter. Much of that increase can be attributed to a slide in the national median home price, which fell to $215,000 in Q4.
Syracuse, New York, took the title of nation's most affordable major housing market in Q4, with more than nine in ten homes deemed affordable to families earning the local median income. The other top markets for affordability were concentrated in the Midwest, including two in Ohio and two in Pennsylvania. At the other end of the scale, California's San Francisco metro was declared the country's least affordable major housing market for the ninth consecutive quarter.
Fannie Mae is set to pay the U.S. Treasury nearly 2 billion dollars in March after seeing another profitable quarter. The company released on Friday its fourth-quarter earnings, posting a net income of 1-point-3 billion dollars. For all of 2014, Fannie reported profits totaling 14.2 billion, down from 84 billion in 2013. Like its sister company, Freddie Mac, Fannie's 2013 results got a major boost from a one-time benefit related to deferred tax assets and a surge in funds from securities settlements.